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Notes & Quotes: New York City FC 1 - 1 Orlando City SC

April 27, 2019 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - New York City FC News Release

NYCFC was back in the Bronx for their third game in a span of seven days against Orlando City SC.

The last time the two teams faced off was at Orlando City Stadium on the opening day when both teams settled for a 2-2 draw. This time, the Boys in Blue were coming off back-to-back wins against D.C. United and Chicago Fire, looking to make it three to climb up the early standings.

Dome Torrent's starting XI showed two changes with Valentin Castellanos and Ronald Matarrita making way for Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Ben Sweat.

NYCFC's defense was put to work early in the game, as the Lions came out strong, pushing the ball forward in an effort to get on the board first. James Sands wrapped Tesho Akindele up in their first opportunity with a perfectly-timed challenge to end a counter on 8' but it would prove to be just a reprieve.

On their next raid forward, Nani capitalized on a loose ball to steer the ball past Sean Johnson into the bottom corner of the net, making it 0-1 to the visitors.

That brought Johnson's clean sheet streak to an end, but it didn't affect his performance at all throughout the game. The keeper kept his focus on the ball and keeping his team's spirits up as the hunt for the equalizer commenced.

Héber's desire to score his first goal at home was evident. The Brazilian had two shots on goal in the first half, with the best, an instinctive diving header, drawing a fine save from Brian Rowe in the Orlando goal.

Orlando nearly struck again before the break as Tesho Akindele found the back of the net after Alexander Callens slipped to let him in, but happily for the 20,000 inside Yankee Stadium, as well as the Peruvian, the officials disallowed the goal after referring to VAR.

Tajouri-Shradi made his presence felt on his return to the lineup. The Libyan almost had the City boys level on a long ball from Heber as he took a small touch to get the ball past the onrushing Rowe, but it rolled agonizingly just past the post.

It wasn't for a lack of effort but the NYCFC went to the locker room down by one but that deficit didn't last for long after the restart... The Boys in Blue came out in the second half looking dominant and eager to score the equalizer. It finally came in the 51' minute as Maxi Moralez smashed the post with a well-hit shot that came back for Héber to put a final touch on.

It was a cool finish, requiring the Brazilian to keep his head over the rising ball to steer the volley in under the bar.

In the remaining minutes, City fought hard against Orlando and heavy legs to try and find the go-ahead goal but Orlando's defense was solid and there were no clear opportunities to get the winner.

Dome Torrent put substitutes Taty Castellanos and Alexandru Mitriță on in a bid to turn City's domination into a third-straight win but it was Orlando who perhaps had the best chance to take all three points on a rare break forward.

It looked to all the stadium like the Lions were going to steal a fortunate road win but Dom Dwyer missed an open goal from a few yards out with a header at the back post.

The final whistle blew and NYCFC came away with one point from their second draw against the Lions in 2019, wrapping up a week of three games with seven points under their belt.


NYCFC Head Coach Domenec Torrent

On gaining 7 points in 3 games... "I'm happy with the performance, we deserve more and that's my opinion. Sometimes they deserve more and you are unable to win. Today we deserved more and get the 3 points, but it's not so bad for us because we had three games in a row, in seven days.. If you compare right now to one month ago we play much better and it's because they understand the way we want play."

On performance vs. getting results... "If you ask me about the performance for example, I'm happy with the performance of the players. The most important thing is how you're feeling, if you're feeling better than how you did one month ago, even when we play away or home for me we are [heading] the right way to play in the playoffs...I'm not worried about the results just for the results, I'm worried when we are not able to play well. That is when I'm worried."

On Héber performance and form of team... "I think Héber is the right player right now. I don't want to talk about what happened 1 or 2 days ago. I'm happy with Heber and the new players, and the players who have played the last 2 or 3 games with us, which is good news for us because we have Taty playing in maybe his best form and Mitriță playing very well."

NYCFC Forward Héber

On being involved in NYCFC's goals of late and how he's feeling... "I'm very happy to score the goal to give us this. To play good is more important. When you work hard, when you give everything on the pitch, everything comes. My teammates also helped me a lot, they were very welcoming and they helped me a lot to push myself as hard as I can and hopefully I'll keep [playing] like that and continue scoring."

On match fitness... "I feel very good. During the game he asked me many times if I wanted to go out, but I feel very good. In these type of games, all players want to play and I cannot go out. I want to be on the pitch to help my teammates."

On MLS fitting him... "I have two friends here and they told me the style of the game and they showed it in Croatia also and I've watched many games. I feel they have a lot of quality. The league is very strong, all defenders are not the same and it has very good players. I think we can make great things here together."

NYCFC Midfielder Maxi Moralez

On his overall view of the game... "I'm not very happy, I think we were much superior, they didn't have good scoring opportunities and a goal disallowed. On our side we didn't attack properly even though we had possession most of the game we tried attacking always, overall we let go those three points."

On how he feels about Heber and the beginning of the season... "I think the coach has found the system that works for our squad, we are always trying to adapt. The first games were a little tough for us, we have a lot of new players and always in the beginning of the season is though, it takes time. We are more focused, we have gotten some victories we need to focus on the next 4 away games and try to get the most points possible."

NYCFC Defender James Sands

On the upcoming road trip... "I think our most recent game on the road was one of our best so far this season. So I think that gives us a lot of confidence going into our away stretch and I think if we can just taking points on the road then it'll be good for us."

Orlando City Head Coach James O'Connor

Initial thoughts on the match... Very hard fought for both teams. Difficult conditions with the wind and the field. I think a draw is probably a fair result.

On gathering momentum with a result today... "I think for us, coming here it's a very difficult place to come. Statistically when you look, they're very strong at home. Having gone ahead, and the potential l opportunity to go two ahead, I still haven't seen what's happened there. The biggest thing for us is to manage the game and try to create a few more opportunities. We did that in the second half with a couple of good chances. All in all, when you look at the balance of play, they probably deserve a point.

On disappointment in dropped points.... "The important thing for us is that we live and die together. We're a team. For us, it's a point on the road. Now we focus on next week."

On Brian Rowe... "The great with us for Brian, not just from a technical standpoint, but character and leadership, and I think a lot of things supporters don't get to see is he's a standout guy. He's the type of guy that comes in and works really hard and trains very well, encourages his teammates, good leadership, so there's a lot of factors that go into his play that a lot of people don't see as well. He's a really smashing guy."

Orlando City Goalkeeper Brian Rowe

On his performance and how he felt about the game... "I think getting into rhythm, the better we do defensively, the more predictable it makes it for me. It's easier. You can read the game a lot better I feel like. It puts you in a better situation. Defensively, the last two games, we're really starting to find our rhythm and our spots and our numbers and figure out how we can be strong defensively."

What's working defensively... "I mean, just the intensity. The desire to not concede. I mean, guys are, like you saw today, throwing their bodies on the line in front of balls. In front of shots. Just I think that intense and it's made a big difference. And I think the personnel we have. We made a point to make sure we just had a person back and making sure we truly had numbers back and not getting caught one-on-one or down numbers. So guys are in good spots."

Communication with Jansson, Sane... "It's great. I mean, they're both veteran guys, so it makes it easy because I'm able to be behind them and kind of let them know. But they're also able to control the guys in front of them and move them to help their position, so yeah. It's been good."

Orlando City Forward Nani

On his goal scoring form recently... "The goals [are] always important when you have the team. My focus is not all about the goals, obviously I am very happy to score. Like I said what gives me the opportunity is the way the team is playing, the way the team has improved in the last games. We have been playing well, we have been playing better. More consistent, we have been showing we are a better team since the beginning of the season. We just create chances for everyone, I think anyone can score now."

On the draw today with NYCFC... "I think we must be disappointed. We want to be a very ambitious team. We are working on that. We must be disappointed because we want to be at the top, we want to improve every week."

On what OCSC needs to improve going forward... "Every team plays different, they show different movements, they show different players. We must be prepared to play against each team. We are working every week, we are improving. Most important, we are learning how to play with different tactics, and different styles of players."


New York City FC 1 - 1 Orlando City SC Saturday, April 27, 2019 2019 MLS Regular Season - Game 9 Attendance: 20,862


New York City FC: Sean Johnson; Maxime Chanot, James Sands, Alex Callens; Anton Tinnerholm, Alex Ring, Ebenezer Ofori, Ben Sweat (84' Valentin Castellanos); Maxi Moralez, Héber, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (76' Alexandru Mitriță)

SUBS UNUSED: Brad Stuver, Sebastien Ibeagha, Tony Rocha, Jesus Medina, Keaton Parks

Orlando City SC: Brian Rowe; Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Lamine Sane, Ruan; Will Johnson, Oriol Rosell, Sebastian Mendez (74' Sacha Kljestan); Nani, Tesho Akindele, Chris Mueller (62' Dom Dwyer)

SUBS UNUSED: Greg Ranjitsingh, Kyle Smith, Kamal Miller, Josue Colman, Cristian Higuita

SCORING SUMMARY 18' - ORL - Nani 51' - NYC - Héber

DISCIPLINE SUMMARY 53' - NYC - Ben Sweat (YC - Unsporting Behavior) 71 - ORL - Oriol Rosell (YC - Unsporting Behavior) 85' - ORL - Robin Jansson (YC - Unsporting Behavior)

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